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Connecting, Learning, and Growing in Real-Time

When asked about her favorite part of Opus College, MacKenzie Styrlund '21 MBA says it comes down to the people. She's met some of her closest friends in the first year of the Part-time Flex MBA program, and they've stuck together since day one. “I know our friendships will last even after our journeys here are complete,” she says.

Building relationships has been an important part of MacKenzie's MBA experience. Serving on the Graduate Business Student Association Board in her final year has allowed her to connect with students from all programs.

Over the last three years, she's met students from large and small companies across the Twin Cities. They've provided each other with valuable learning lessons, bringing real-life examples of unique work experiences into every class meeting, discussion board posting, group project, and assignment.

I loved getting to learn from people in my classes.

A first-year course called Leading Self and Others with Mary Slack has made a significant impact. Students talked extensively about principled leadership, personalities, and emotional intelligence. As a result, MacKenzie consistently thinks about how she can bridge any gaps between herself and others as a leader. "Working and interacting with people will always be something we have to do."

Her MBA has also empowered her to be a more effective communicator at work. Her leader at Target Corporation called out one example recently at her annual review, saying that he noticed "my presentations immediately became way more impactful when I took the Storytelling: Influencing Organizations course [taught by Jack Militello]."

As she says goodbye to Opus this spring, MacKenzie offers these words of advice for future MBA students: “connect with everyone, and I mean everyone – classmates, professors, current co-workers and leaders at your company. You can never know too many people.”

portrait of MBA student MacKenzie Styrlund posing in front of a brick wall

MacKenzie Styrlund

  • Senior Program Owner at Target
  • '21 MBA